Hate speech and threats against Armenians in Turkey accelerate – Garo Paylan

Hate speech and threats against in Turkey have accelerated following the outbreak of clashes between and Azerbaijan. HDP MP Garo Paylan, himself a Turkish-Armenian, has been targeted for his insistence on a ceasefire.

“We can conclude that there will be no favorable results from this war–which has caused loss and destruction on both sides—and that the solution is on the peace table,” Paylan said in an interview with Duvar.

Turkish-Armenians have been on the receiving end of threats and hate speech during the ongoing clashes between Armenia and Azerbaijan, and pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party Garo Paylan has called for peace amid what he describes as an “ordinary climate of hatred” created by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) in an interview with Duvar.

“Our country is home to citizens with many identities, faiths, and beliefs. However, the current administration unfortunately continues to pursue its nationalist, racist and religious-oriented policies,” Paylan said.

The Turkish government has stood firmly behind Azerbaijan in its current war with Armenians, and Armenians in Turkey have been targeted with hate speech and threats. At the end of last month, a convoy of vehicles brandishing Azerbaijani flags drove through the street where the Armenian Patriarchate is located in the Istanbul neighborhood of Kumkapı, which is also home to a large Armenian population.

Cars of flag-waving nationalists also passed through Halaskargazi Avenue in the Sisli district of Istanbul, the same street where Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink was assassinated in 2007.

“In these kinds of atmospheres when Turkey takes the side of Azerbaijan and when hate speech is used against Armenians, we feel the unease of a pigeon, as dear Hrant Dink put it. Unfortunately we are experiencing the deepest unease of a pigeon these days,” Paylan said, referencing an iconic excerpt from the last article Dink penned before his murder.

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